Berlin’s EFM Launches “Room Of Stillness” For Mental Health Awareness, May Team With Other Festivals & Markets

The Berlinale’s European Film Market (February 16-22) has unveiled a pioneering initiative offering a phone and laptop-free “safe space” where delegates can reflect and decompress.

Called the Room Of Stillness, the space is situated in the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation, which is a five-minute walk around the corner from the market’s main Gropius Bau hub.

“It’s a space where you can recharge, reflect, even just take a minute to calm down,” explains EFM director Dennis Ruh.

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“It’s part of our campaign around mental health and life balance in the film industry which we began some years ago.”

The Documentation Centre, which opened in the summer of 2021 with a focus on politically, ethnically and religiously motivated forced migrations in the 20th Century, will host most of EFM’s industry talks and conferences this year.

In addition to the Room of Silence, the EFM will also offer an event bannered “Monday For Mindfulness”, exploring the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and consisting of workshops offering advice and tools on self-care.

The EFM is teaming up with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Danish and Czech mental health consultancy Sane Cinema on the initiative.

“We came up with the idea with Karlovy Vary. We will see how it goes. We may create a small alliance of markets and festivals to put a spotlight on the issues of mental health and life balance which are important ones for the film industry and its professionals,” explained Ruh.

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